Press Releases

(Washington, DC) - Today, U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at preventing unnecessary and overburdening regulations on recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) put forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  There are concerns that the proposed mandatory standards could have unintended safety consequences and limit the vehicles’ ability to access difficult terrain. The legislation, the ROV in-Depth Examination Act, is commonly known as the RIDE Act.

“Nevadans’ way of life keeps us outdoors and enjoying the fresh air as much as possible.  Off-road vehicles play a major role in enabling many of us to do so, providing quick and safe access across our state’s rugged terrain. That’s why I am proud to work with my friend Senator Manchin on this bipartisan bill to reign in unnecessary regulations, especially if those regulations could make these activities less safe,” said Senator Heller.

Senator Manchin added, “The recreational off-road vehicle industry has demonstrated its commitment to safety by updating voluntary standards as recently as last year, and it’s a shame that we have to introduce legislation to require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to actually review those standards. In West Virginia alone, this industry contributes $1.2 billion to the economy each year and is a major engine for economic growth. This legislation brings a bit more common sense to Washington.”

Background:

Ongoing rulemaking by the CPSC would impose mandatory standards on ROV manufacturers regarding lateral stability, steering characteristics, and other related-matters. below is the letter from October of 2014 where a bipartisan group of Senators, including Senators Heller and Manchin, urged the CPSC to work collaboratively with industry on comprehensive and effective voluntary safety standards.  

The RIDE ACT would postpone the CPSC’s ROV rulemaking until the proposed mandatory design standards have been examined by an independent agency, such as the National Academy of Sciences, in consultation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Department of Defense (DOD).  This study will help ensure that any future standards are conducive to navigating rugged terrain and do not unnecessarily compromise performance and safety.

Senator Heller has long advocated for policies that encourage outdoor recreation opportunities, including motorsports.  At the end of last Congress, Senator Heller was successful in enacting long-standing public lands legislation as part of the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which included provisions that cleared the way for the development of the Nellis Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Recreational Area and the Elko Motocross Park. 

Outdoor recreation plays a major role in the Nevada and West Virginia economies.  According to a recent study, off-road activity alone has an annual impact of $2 billion in Nevada and $1.2 billion in West Virginia.

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